85 Oppn MNAs tender resignation in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Oct 2: As many as 85 Opposition lawmakers resigned from National Assembly in Pakistan today in a joint Opposition bid to undermine re-election of President Pervez Musharraf in the October 6 presidential poll.

Prominent among those who quit as MNAs were Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman and senior PML-N leader Javed Hashmi.

The MNAs, who tendered their resignation to National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain, include 62 of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, 20 of Muslim League-N and a member each from Tehrik-e-Insaf, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and JUI Fazl-e-Karim.

''This is a historic moment. The re-election of Gen Musharraf would have no legitimacy now,'' Maulana Fazlur Rahman said.

Mr Imran Khan said the step should have been taken much earlier. He expressed the hope that the Opposition would stand united in its campaign against the military ruler.

The Cricketer-turned-politician Khan was the first to tender his resignation. The leaders came under the banner of All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) which is spearheading a campaign against Gen Musharraf's attempt to get himself re-elected from the present provincial and national assemblies.

Stringent security measures were in place.

The parliamentarian reached the Parliament House accompanied by a large number of supporters.

However, Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party has not joined the APDM, so far. Ms Bhutto was engaged in post-election power sharing talks with Gen Musharraf although she has opposed his election while being the army chief.

Meanwhile, shortly before the parliamentarian tendered their resignations, the PPP and lawyer's presidential candidate Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the the Election Commission validating nomination papers of Gen Musharraf.

More than two hundred APDM members have already resigned from provincial assemblies.


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